Effects of L-carnitine on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

JBRA Assist Reprod. 2019 Oct 14;23(4):392-395. doi: 10.5935/1518-0557.20190033.


Objective: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age. This study investigated the effects of L-carnitine on the clinical and laboratory findings of women with PCOS.

Methods: Eighty women diagnosed with PCOS between 2017 and 2018 by the Rotterdam Criteria were enrolled in the study; six were lost during the study. The participants were given L-carnitine 3 g daily (Pursinapharma, Iran) for three months. Blood samples were taken after overnight fasting at baseline and three months into the study to assess the levels of fasting glucose, insulin, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and the insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR). The patients were weighed before and after treatment and had their body mass index (BMI) calculated. Menstrual cycles and manifestations of hirsutism were also assessed.

Results: The data showed a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity and decreases in serum LDL levels and the BMI after three months of treatment. There was a significant increase in serum HDL levels. More regular menstrual cycles and decreased hirsutism were also observed.

Conclusion: It appears that treatment with L-carnitine might decrease the risk of cardiovascular events by normalizing metabolic profiles and the BMI.

Keywords: HOMA index; L-carnitine; hyperinsulinemia; polycystic ovary syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carnitine / administration & dosage
  • Carnitine / therapeutic use*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Menstrual Cycle / blood
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Carnitine